An Australian league publ' />
He might look like a Kiwi and play like a Kiwi - but don't expect to see Feleti Mateo in a Kiwis jumper any time soon.
An Australian league publication this week pointed out that the Warriors' star recruit would qualify for the Kiwis on residence grounds before the next World Cup, in England in 2013.
Mateo refused to rule out such a possibility but the reality is the Kiwis are, at best, fourth choice for the Australian-born son of a Tongan father and English mother.
"There is zero Kiwi in me," Mateo said. "I've been asked before.
"Seeing what the Kiwis are doing now is amazing. They are the champions of the world undoubtedly. People might have said the World Cup was a fluke and then they won the Four Nations.
"But I was born and raised in Australia. My dad's Tongan and my mum is English. I've got a UK passport not many people know about. I can play for England, so I've got a lot of doors that can be opened. At the moment I'm captaining Tonga and I'm very proud of that. It's one of my proudest achievements so far."
That may be so but, like most Australians, Mateo's burning ambition is to play State of Origin. To do so he would have to make himself available for Australia.
"I've said it before, I'd love to play for New South Wales," he said.
While Steve Price and Brent Tate earned Queensland selection playing for the Warriors, both were established rep players when they joined the club. Breaking into the Blues while based in New Zealand won't be easy, Mateo knows.
"It's seems to be a bit rare to get the nod. It's hard to get recognised when you are playing for the Warriors. I still feel like there is a lot of politics in it. But if you are playing good footy the fans will speak and they can't not choose you."
A player with extravagant physical gifts who hasn't always cashed in on them, Mateo believes the Warriors will provide the right environment to finally unleash his full potential.
"That's why I made the decision to come over here. It's a great team with a great roster. Hopefully it all comes together and I play some good footy."